We are taking some time this month to honor and bring light to the people and families behind the scenes of Bumbleride. The people who make our products. These are special individuals who we’ve been working closely with for nearly two decades.
Here is Jill from our Bumbleride team talking with Matt, the owner of Bumbleride.
Jill: Family first. Being family-owned and run since day 1, this is the ethos and backbone of Bumbleride. Share your outlook with us…
Matt: People start businesses for all different reasons. They want to make more money, they want more flexibility, they want to solve a problem, etc. When my wife Emily and I started Bumbleride we were motivated by our daughter Ella our first of 3 children. We were a young, active family and wanted to create products that helped families like ours to get out and explore the world around them. Knowing that we are in the business of serving families at the most exciting part of their lives helps put priorities into perspective. That extends to the employees that we hire and the distributors and suppliers that we work with. We never look for quick opportunities to make profits. Our focus is on creating something lasting; our Bumbleride team and family, our distribution partners and suppliers, our family of customers and ultimately an enduring brand.
Jill: This care extends to the people who make our products and finally into hands and homes of the families that buy our products. It really is a beautiful thing.
Most stroller manufacturing is done in China, why did you choose a supplier in Taiwan? Describe your close-knit relationship with our factory and suppliers.
Matt: My first trip to China was to, by Chinese standards, a mid-size stroller factory, that produced for several notable brands. The immensity of the complex was mind boggling. The discussion was related to how many production lines could operate at once, how many containers could be shipped a month, what were our annual units per year….it didn’t feel right. By contrast when we first met our supplier in Taiwan, a family-owned producer that has been manufacturing strollers since the mid 1970’s the conversation was focused on quality of craftsmanship. The materials used, the array of specialized small business sub-contractors that are carefully selected for quality. The founder and father of the factory has a passion for design. Before 3D modeling he had his start by hand building prototypes for injection molding which always impressed me. Over the years we have enjoyed many hours discussing design and improvements to our products which continues now to his son and daughter, who operate the factory. That along with the beautiful countryside location and excellent Taiwanese culture has been the right fit for us. We have been working closely with them from the beginning, 17 years ago.
Jill: We have learned so much from our factory over the years. From an environmental perspective as well as the non-corporate way of doing business. Can you elaborate?
Matt: In Taiwan they are very proud of their beautiful country; the mountains, their rivers and coastlines and want to protect it. In addition, the culture at the factory we work with has an ethos of zero waste. Small batch production, just in time delivery, a highly cross trained team of employees, and a predominantly natural light space help reduce dead stock and energy.
Over the years we have learned much about the dirty side of manufacturing. The heavy use of natural resources, pollution and how we can reduce our impact in the materials, finish and process that we choose when making our products. There is a big movement right now in the certifications that we see printed and stamped on packaging from the products that we buy. Although it is great to see companies adopting safer, healthier, more environmental practices there is also big business behind these. We still believe the most environmentally conscious and safest, healthiest course is to know your suppliers. Interestingly the motivation behind our suppliers is not to promote themselves but to be practical and efficient with resources, respect their employees and protect the environment around them.
Jill: Relationships and open communication are so important to everyone’s wellbeing and we believe a better quality product comes out in the end. Anything else you would like to add?
Matt: All of us are feeling the effects of the global supply chain right now. The combination of increased demand and increased safety measures in place have resulted in longer lead times and delays across every industry. We are seeing shortages in materials, over capacity at factories, shortages in containers and the list goes on. Navigating these challenges has been tough but we are very thankful for the patience of our customers, the incredible team we have at Bumbleride and the long-standing relationships that we have with the people, friends and families who make our products.
Thank you for reading!